M&S credit card customers will see the rewards they earn slashed, as the provider is shaking up its loyalty scheme following EU-wide changes to card transaction fees.
Currently those with M&S Bank’s credit card, which is one of our top cashback cards, earn one point for every £1 spent in M&S, and one point for every £2 spent elsewhere.
Once you’ve earned 100 points, this is automatically turned into £1 worth of M&S vouchers and posted to customers four times a year – so you effectively earn 1% on M&S spending and 0.5% elsewhere.
But from 29 February, points on external spending are being slashed to just one point for every £5 spent outside of M&S – effectively just 0.2% cashback.
One unhappy customer tweeted: “1 point on every £5 spend is pathetic on M&S Credit Card. Hope all card holders vote with their feet.”
The bank says it’s the first change it’s made to the loyalty scheme since it launched in 2003, and confirms that no other terms are changing – including its 0% interest on spending for the first 19 months.
Why is M&S cutting back its rewards?
M&S Bank blames the loyalty scheme cut on new EU rules that cap the amount card firms charge retailers to process transactions – meaning many providers are recouping costs by slashing the value of reward schemes.
These so-called “interchange” rules came into force on 9 December 2015 and a number of major providers, including Capital One, RBS and Tesco Bank, have already scaled back cashback and loyalty point schemes.
An M&S Bank spokesperson says: “Following the introduction of new legislation in December 2015, which affected all UK card providers, we are making a change to the external loyalty points earned on the M&S Credit Card.”
It adds that it waited until February to make the cut to ensure points earned over the festive period were not impacted.